Serhii PlokhyMay 12, 2023
The Russo-Ukrainian War
The Return of History
W. W. Norton 2023
"The Ukrainian nation will emerge from this war more united and certain of its identity than at any other point in its modern history," writes Serhii Plokhy at the end of The Russo-Ukrainian War (Norton, 2023).
But that's not all, says the man acclaimed by the Financial Times as “the world's foremost historian of Ukraine” - author of Chernobyl: History of a Tragedy, The Gates of Europe: A History of Ukraine, and Nuclear Folly: A History of the Cuban Missile Crisis.
"Ukraine’s successful resistance to Russian aggression is destined to promote Russia's own nation-building project. Russia and its elites now have little choice but to reimagine their country's identity by parting ways not only with the imperialism of the Tsarist past but also with the anachronistic model of a Russian nation consisting of Russians, Ukrainians and Belarusians. By paying an enormous price in wealth and blood of its citizens, Ukraine is terminating the era of Russian dominance in a good part of eastern Europe and challenging Moscow's claim to primacy in the rest of the post-Soviet space".
Serhii Plokhy is the Mykhailo Hrushevsky Professor of Ukrainian History at Harvard and director of the university's Ukrainian Research Institute.
*The author's own book recommendations are The Zelensky Effect by Olga Onuch and Henry Hale (Hurst, 2022) and Beyond the Wall: East Germany 1949-1990 by Katja Hoyer (Allen Lane, 2023)